How growing a business is like going to the moon


Karen Utgoff, Karen Lauter Utgoff ConsultingRunning a business isn’t rocket science. Yet, in preparing for the start of the Stronger Businesses Program™, I am reminded of President Kennedy’s famous observation that we were going to the moon not because it was easy but because it was hard. Kennedy inspired a nation and half a century later got me thinking about three characteristics that a nation undertaking a daring quest and a business aiming to accelerate growth have in common.

Risk and uncertainty are part of any complex endeavor. Until the first Apollo astronauts landed and returned safely, it was unclear whether a safe trip was even possible. The outcome of each new moonshot was uncertain. Facing and overcoming risks was essential to ensure the project progressed. Turning a blind eye to risk and problematic trends can cause an established business to stagnate or even fail.

Hard work builds strength. As the space program moved forward, it was necessary to create new technologies and learn new skills. Leaders were faced with a dauntingly complex project that demanded hard and smart work from all involved. Trivializing or ignoring the demands and opportunities involved would likely have frustrated even the best on the team and made success impossible. When business leaders overlook or downplay the challenges that their employees face in continuing to grow, they can demoralize and even lose staff.

Success is sweet. While business success rarely sets off a national celebration or a rise in worldwide prestige, it can have a profound effect on an organization’s employees, investors, and customers. When success comes from building sustainable strengths and the ability to cope with changes in the marketplace, it leads to future successes and an increasingly valuable business. This is especially true when an organization has proven its ability to accomplish challenging goals.

Laurie Breitner and I didn’t create the Stronger Businesses Program™ to get anyone to the moon but we are committed to helping business owners and leaders learn how to cope with risk and build hard-driving, smart-working, effective teams as the foundation for growth and ongoing success. We hope you will join us!  Registration is open and the first session is on October 14 at the Business Growth Center.